As product and price differentiation erodes, businesses are turning to customer experience to gain market share over their competitors. This move toward experience-based differentiation (EBD) raises the stakes for customer service professionals to make the right technology decisions. Here’s why:
- EBD Strategies are critical, but often vague. 91% of the decision makers surveyed by Forrester said that customer experience would be very important or critical to their business. However, half of them lacked a clear customer experience strategy. Without baselining the customer experience and creating a strategy and an execution plan, the customer service product selection is haphazard at best, leaving customer needs unfulfilled and brand equity destroyed.
- Implementation mishaps can squash EBD opportunities. Despite the importance that enterprises place on EBD strategies, they have difficulty organizing to deliver on their intentions. In fact, 60% of executives serveyed cited “implementing technology” as the second biggest obstacle to launching experience-based initiatives – with the first obstacle cited as “getting organizational alignment”.
- EBD requires a BT-centric view. Given the poor state of customer experiences, businesses that understand and execute on the competitive potential of technology to innovate customer experiences can easily blow away their competition. But delivering loyalty-creating, customer-centric experiences, and thus better business results via technology, requires functional departments, business units, and IT to examine how they will work as a united business technology (BT) team. The BT team must select, implement, and manage customer service apps as a shared responsibility and a strategic, bottom-line competitive asset.
A complete customer service solution includes 3 key components to provide great customer experiences:
- an interaction layer to manage all customer interaction channels and underlying knowledge management, workflow, and business rules engines
- a customer record repository to aggregate customer information and manage more complex contract and entitlement
- business process automation to streamline common cross-departmental tasks